The Referendum has again saved Switzerland from a piece of
Socialistic legislation. Last week a proposal to amend the Federal Constitution in such a way as to authorise the Legislature to make the manufacture of matches a Govern- ment monopoly, was rejected by a majority of 30,000. The battle seems to have been between the advocates of centralisa- tion and its opponents. In the canton of Zurich, where the feeling in favour of centralisation is strong, the proposal was carried by nearly 4 to 1 (41,710 to 10,997), but the canton of Berne rejected it by about 4 to 3,—a result, says the Daily. Chronicle, due chiefly to the French-speaking inhabitants of the canton. ‘` French Switzerland, as a whole, was strongly adverse to the proposal." The popular vote will soon be in- voked again on two important points,—the establishment of a National Bank, and the transfer of the control of the military matters from the cantons to the Federal Administration. The attempt to make the State monopolise matches was, to a certain extent, prompted by the desire to get better conditions for the workers, and is so far intelligible and deserving of sympathy ; but on the broad question we heartily congratulate Switzerland on escaping from a very pernicious form of State Socialism,—the system of national monopolies.